Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Messiah Mode

I enjoy talk radio, but I just can't listen anymore right now to commentary on the grinches in Washington. They may be able to steal our earthly treasures, but they can't steal our heavenly ones. Handel's Messiah will be the only thing coming out of the car stereo for the next 48 hours.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

McCain Delivers GOP Weekly Address

Sen. John McCain gives a clear overview of the Democratic plan to take over health care in this weeks Republican Address.

He characterizes the process that produces the 2,000 page bill as "confused and secretive." He decries the lack of bipartisanship and the Democrats refusal to do anything substantive -- like tort reform -- to control costs.

The Democratic bill, McCain argues, spends $ 2.5 billion to create an "unsustainable entitlement program" that will require $500 billion in taxes to take effect almost immediately.

Meanwhile, seniors will suffer massive cuts in Medicare Advantage. And those few "reforms" that the bill seeks would not take effect for four years.

McConnell Forces Reading

The Clerk of the Senate is now reading an amendment designed to appease Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), the lone Democratic hold out on the health care take over.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell invoked Senate rules that the amendment be read. It was completely appropriate for McConnell to force the reading; it's the only way to buy the public enough time to digest the 2000 page bill.

Previously, Democrats had promised that the bill would be available online for 72 hours, but as the vote is now scheduled, Democrats have broken that pledge in their attempt to ram through their plan to pay for six years of benefits with ten years of (raised) taxes.

Senate Republican Ad on Health Care

Senate Republicans have released an Internet ad opposing the Democratic health care over (scheduled for a 1:00 a.m. vote Monday morning).

Seriously, is this the best opposition we can mount?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

U.S. Senators Are Left Behind In Reiding Class

Does Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid think we are idiots? He certainly behaves like United States Senators are remedial readers. Here's what Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had to say in a press release issued earlier today:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

‘And here’s the most outrageous part: at the end of this rush, they want us to vote on a bill that no one outside the Majority Leader’s conference room has even seen. That’s right. The final bill we’ll vote on isn’t even the one we’ve had on the floor. It’s the deal Democrat leaders have been trying to work out in private’

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Thursday regarding the importance of getting it right on health care reform:

“Senators on both sides acknowledge that the health care bill we’re considering is among the most significant pieces of legislation any of us will ever consider.

“So it stands to reason that we’d devote significant time and attention to it.

“Indeed, some would argue that we should spend more time and attention on this bill than most — if not every — previous bill we’ve considered.

“The Majority disagrees.

“Why? Because this bill has become a political nightmare for them.

“They know Americans overwhelmingly oppose it, so they want to get it over with.

“Americans are already outraged at the fact that Democrat leaders took their eyes off the ball. Rushing the process on a partisan line makes the situation even worse.

“Americans were told the purpose of reform was to reduce the cost of health care.

“Instead, Democrat leaders produced a $2.5 trillion, 2,074-page monstrosity that vastly expands government, raises taxes, raises premiums, and wrecks Medicare.

“And they want to rush this bill through by Christmas — one of the most significant, far-reaching pieces of legislation in U.S. history. They want to rush it.

“And here’s the most outrageous part: at the end of this rush, they want us to vote on a bill that no one outside the Majority Leader’s conference room has even seen.

“That’s right. The final bill we’ll vote on isn’t even the one we’ve had on the floor. It’s the deal Democrat leaders have been trying to work out in private.

“That’s what they intend to bring to the floor and force a vote on before Christmas.

“So this entire process is essentially a charade.

“But let’s just compare the process so far with previous legislation for some perspective. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ve done and where we stand:

• The Majority Leader intends to bring this debate to a close as early as this weekend — four days from now, on this $2.5 trillion dollar mistake

• No American who hasn’t been invited into the Majority Leader’s conference room knows what will be in that bill

• This bill has been the pending business of the Senate since the last week of November — less than four weeks ago.

• We started the amendment process two weeks ago.

• We’ve had 21 amendments and motions — less than two a day.

“Now let’s look at how the Senate has dealt with previous legislation.

“No Child Left Behind (2001):

• 21 session days or 7 weeks.

• Roll Call votes: 44

• Number of Amendments offered: 157

“9/11 Commission/Homeland Security Act (2002):

• 19 session days over 7 weeks.

• Roll Call votes: 20

• Number of Amendments offered: 30

“Energy Bill (2002):

• 21 session days over 8 weeks

• Number of Roll Call votes: 36

• Number of Amendments offered: 158

“This isn’t an energy bill. This is an attempt by a majority to take over one sixth of the U.S. economy — to vastly expand the reach and the role of government into the health care decisions of every single American — and they want to be done after one substantive amendment. This is absolutely inexcusable.

“I think Senator Snowe put it best on Tuesday:

‘Given the enormity and complexity,’ she said, ‘I don’t see anything magical about the Christmas deadline if this bill is going to become law in 2014.’

“And I think Senator Snowe’s comments on a lack of bipartisanship at the outset of this debate are also right on point.

“Here’s what she said in late November:

‘I am truly disappointed we are commencing our historic debate on one of the most significant and pressing domestic issues of our time with a process that has forestalled our ability to arrive at broader agreement on some of the most crucial elements of health care reform. The bottom line is, the most consequential health care legislation in the history of our country and the reordering of $33 trillion in health care spending over the coming decade shouldn’t be determined by one vote-margin strategies – surely we can and must do better.’

“The only conceivable justification for rushing this bill is the overwhelming opposition of the American people. Democrats know that the longer Americans see this bill the less they like it. Here’s the latest from Pew. It came out just yesterday.

“A majority (58 percent) of those who have heard a lot about the bills oppose them while only 32 percent favor them.”

“There is no justification for this blind rush — except a political one, and that’s not good enough for the American people.

“And there’s no justification for forcing the Senate to vote on a bill none of us has seen.

“Americans already oppose this bill. The process is just as bad.

“It’s completely reckless, completely irresponsible.”

Please note: The postings of "G. Morris", written by John K. Bush and which end in 2016, stated his views as of the dates of posting and should not be understood as current assertions of his views. The postings, which have not been altered since they came to an end, remain on this blog to preserve the historical record. In 2017, Mr. Bush took a position that precludes further public political comments or endorsements. He will no longer be contributing to this blog.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Poor Illinois

It's the ultimate bait and switch. President Barack Obama flew to Europe to bring back the Summer Olympics to Chicago -- to no avail. But he does have a little something for his home state.

Obama is sending Gitmo terrorists to an Illinois prison 150 miles from Chicago.

So instead of Michael Phelps in a Speedo, Illinois gets a group of Islamofascists who'd like to break out and kill everyone.

2010 Looking Good For GOP Senate Candidates

Stuart Rothernberg finds the outlook for Republican Senate candidates much improved.

Eleven months ago, Rothenberg notes, "Sen Jim Bunning (R-KY) was in trouble" as were other Republicans.

The national landscape has changed considerably since then, leaving more and more Democratic incumbents vulnerable.

Rothernberg gives Republicans a narrow lead in Kentucky:

Other races, where there hasn't been such movement, remain tight, with the race a statistical dead heat (in Missouri, for example), or with the Republican nominee holding a narrow advantage in most polling (including Kentucky, North Carolina, Illinois and Louisiana).

Republicans have an opportunity to pick up seats-- and maybe control of the Senate.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid may not have to worry about losing more bodies in his caucus, because Reid may not even get reelected. Reid is polling around 41 percent against his most likely GOP opponent.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Harry Reid's Bill Will Raise Costs by $234 Billion

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (part of Health and Human Services) have crunched the numbers on Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's latest iteration of the health care take over: Reid's bill would raise the cost of health care $ 234 billion.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was right. Just last week, Sen. Max Baucus complained, "The Republican Leader a few moments ago said that this bill raises costs. With all due respect to my good friend from Kentucky, that statement is false."

McConnell was right on cost, just as he has been right about public opposition to the bill.

Yesterday, three more polls found that the more Americans learn of the Democratic plan, the more they oppose it. A CNN poll showed 61 percent of Americans oppose the Senate health care bill. Fox News found that 57 percent oppose the proposed legislation. Even the New York Times noted that only 42 percent approve of the Obama administration's handling of health care, down five points from last month.

U of L CRs Invite Candidates to Debate

The University of Louisville College Republicans are attempting to put a debate together between the GOP U.S. Senate candidates.

The Rand Paul campaign has said he can attend any of the proffered dates: January 21, 27 or February 4, 15, or 25.

Trey Grayson will have to debate him at some point; might as well give the CRs a boost.

Tiger Beat

As Tiger Woods's mistresses scurry about for fallen crumbs like cock roaches in a dirty kitchen, two questions remain.

First, why did Tiger not have a separate, secret phone for calling his babes? This is standard practice among professional athletes of his, uh, propensities. Moreover, as the AT&T spokesman, he probably could have procured said phone for free. Not that money is an issue for Tiger.

Second question. Sportswriters who have traveled with Tiger have (privately) said for years that he has a girl in every town, lots of hookers and cocktail waitresses. So why has no Louisville mistress stepped forward? He played Valhalla, but is that all he played in Kentucky?

Are we really to believe that after winning the PGA Championship at Valhalla in 2000 Tiger didn't go celebrate? Perhaps Kentucky women don't kiss and tell.

Jenny Sanford Dumps the Gov.

South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford has filed for divorce from her cheating scum of a husband, Gov. Mark Sanford. He's the former Republican star who lied about hiking the Appalachian Trail while trysting in South America.

Barbara Walters named Mrs. Sanford one of the "Most Fascinating People of 2009," apparently for maintaining her dignity while her husband lost his.

Mrs. Sanford, for her part, schooled Baba Wawa when the later asked, "Are you your husband's soul mate?"

An icy Mrs. Sanford replied, "Clearly not."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Former Louisvillian Saves Girl From Stabbing

Former Louisville resident Ken Schulz saved a 16 year-old girl's life in his new hometown of Anchorage, AK. Schulz, a UPS pilot who recently relocated to Alaska, was cross-country skiing at noon when he saw a teenage boy and girl behind a high school. The boy, a Junior, appeared to be punching the girl. As Schulz got closer, however, he saw that the boy was repeatedly stabbing the girl.

Schulz kicked the assailant, who then threatened Schulz with a knife and then fled. Schulz called the police.

According to the Alaska Daily News, while the nearby school remained on lock-down, police used dogs and helicopters to chase the boy for an hour before capturing and arresting him.

The boy had lured the girl behind the girl behind the school by promising to give her a silver ring. This is what comes of schools failing to teach Odysseus; the girl should have known to beware of jerks bearing gifts.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tiger/Obama Laugh Of The Day

The Hill reports:

In a statement given to The Hill's ITK, Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) said, “In light of the recent developments surrounding Tiger Woods and his family, I will not pursue legislation awarding him the Congressional Gold Medal this session."

One of the comments:

Maybe Rep. Baca can nominate Tiger for the Nobel Peace Prize!
Please note: The postings of "G. Morris", written by John K. Bush and which end in 2016, stated his views as of the dates of posting and should not be understood as current assertions of his views. The postings, which have not been altered since they came to an end, remain on this blog to preserve the historical record. In 2017, Mr. Bush took a position that precludes further public political comments or endorsements. He will no longer be contributing to this blog.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A way to really reduce pollution

Reports have it that over 140 ozone layer destroying private jets and 1200 gas guzzling limos are being used to get to and around the Copenhagen climate conference. This is not to mention all the hot air that will arise from all the meetings. A great way to really limit greenhouse gases would be to not have such conferences.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jack Conway Lauds Useless "Message" Amendment

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Jack Conway issued a press release to demonstrate his heart-felt support for an amendment to the the health care bill. (H/t: Page One.) The amendment was pushed by Colorado Democrat Sen. Michael Bennet, who was appointed to his seat and faces a tough election to keep it.

Bennet's amendment was intended to address the public furor over the Democrats' proposal to pay for their health care take over by cutting Medicare. Jack Conway wants us to know that he agrees with Bennet:

It is of the utmost importance to me to protect Kentucky’s seniors. Senator Michael Bennett’s (D-CO) measure will preserve guaranteed benefits for the 720,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the Commonwealth. (Emphasis added.)

"This is a message amendment," his office informed fellow Democrats in an e-mail unintended for publication, indicating its purpose was political. "The Senate bill already does these things and this amendment makes these facts absolutely clear and succinct." It passed 100-0.

Unfortunately for Conway, he was not on the email list from Bennet's office. Consequently, Conway was duped into thinking that the Senate's non-binding posturing would "preserve guaranteed benefits."

It does not. The vote was pure symbolism; that's why it passed 100-0.

But Conway's release revealed more than just his naivete about Senate procedure. He misspelled the name of the Democrat he applauded.

The U.S. Senator from Colorado who pushed the "message amendment" is not, as Conway twice referred to him "Senator Michael Bennett’s (D-CO)." It's Bennet with one "T": Michael Bennet.

He Wrote Back!

I wrote to Congressman John Yarmuth the first week of August to suggest that he hold a real, live town hall on health care as opposed to the fake teleconference town halls he had held up to that point.

He (or rather, one of his minions) has replied -- four months later. I am so glad for the instantaneous nature of email; it really improves constituent relations between the elected and we the little people.

It is unclear why the staffer bothered to even respond at this late date. Maybe he or she noticed that on a a near daily basis, new Republicans are announcing their candidacy to challenge Yarmuth.

As form letters to constituents go, it's a fine letter. I especially like how Yarmuth sought to reassure me that he will not turn us into Canada, Britain or France as he takes over one-sixth of the U.S. economy: "Speaking with so many people and hearing so many different personal experiences only reinforced my belief that our current health care system is unsustainable, and I will do all I can to ensure that we find a uniquely American solution that works for the American people."

One interesting turn of phrase: Yarmuth -- who is, after all, a designated messenger for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- describes the health care take over as "reform." As in, "As a result of constituent feedback during the month of August many changes were made to the health care reform legislation being considered by the House. " (Emphasis added.) And to reiterate this change of nomenclature, "With my support, H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act was passed on November 7, 2009. H.R. 3962 is now on hold until the Senate approves its health reform bill." (Emphasis added.)

Reform sounds so modest and incremental. Not nearly so draconian as what the Democrats' plan actually is: a trillion dollar, two thousand page monstrosity that will make health care more expensive while reducing quality.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An Obama Cover to Collect

It would not normally be newsworthy that President Barack Obama will appear on yet another magazine cover -- no. 12,576 of his administation

But this cover, on Golf Digest, partners the president with pig Tiger Woods, under the headline, "10 Tips Obama Can Take From Tiger."

Tip number one: hide the golf clubs from the your wife.

h/t Instapundit

Dems Attack Each Other Over Health Care

Perhaps the most interesting fights on the Senate floor these days are between Democrats. Take this exchange on proposed cuts to Medicare.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) likes the cuts, arguing that "what is cut are private health care plans under the Medicare Advantage Program." As if the quasi-private nature of the plan should console the elderly recipient who loses her benefits.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) represents a state with a large population of senior citizens, and therefore viewed the cuts differently: "I think it would be intolerable to ask the senior citizens on Medicare who have [Medicare Advantage] to give up substantial health benefits that they're enjoying under Medicare." Nelson pledged to offer an amendment to shield seniors form the proposed cuts.

Trey Reacts to Obama Speech

Here are the remarks of U.S. Senate candidate Trey Grayson in response to President Barack Obama's speech on Afghanistan. Grayson is on the mark:

I support the President’s decision to finally accept the recommendations of commanders on the ground and order a surge of forces in Afghanistan. I disagree with those who believe we should set a date certain for withdrawal from Afghanistan and believe that we must show the necessary commitment to success for the Afghan people, for our allies, and to our enemies. We all want our troops to come home, but not until Afghanistan Security Forces are sufficiently able to secure the country and prevent it from being overrun by Al Qaeda again, creating a situation that could lead to another attack on the United States. I will be watching with great interest as more details on the President’s strategy are provided in testimony before Congress. Key to success is a clear mission with measurable results in the ability of Afghan Security Forces to secure the country.

Now we need to hear from Dr. Rand Paul.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Swine Flu Vaccines Really, Really Late

Jefferson County children will finally get vaccinated for the Swine Flu, more than a month after H1N1 peaked in local schools.

The absence rate at my children's school exceeded 30 percent the week leading up to Halloween; it has been back to normal for some time since.

It's great that schools are making the vaccine available to students on-site. But where was the vaccine when we needed it last month?

The Obama administration had nearly a year's lead-time to prepare for the Swine Flu. And yet we are just now getting the vaccine, after the flu has run its course.

If this is how the administration reacts to a public health crisis when it has this much advance notice to plan and prepare, how it will handle a crisis that by its nature gives only a few days warning --like a hurricane.

By the way, more than twice as many people have died from Swine Flu than from Hurricane Katrina.